‘I think its going to help’: Metro Atlanta city could see major development if approved

A city in Gwinnett County could see major changes to its downtown, including new restaurants and hundreds of new apartments.

But some people living near Railroad Avenue and Main Street are telling city leaders to slow down.

Channel 2′s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson was in Lilburn on Thursday, where business owners are looking forward to the changes.

The city is imagining a multi-story apartment complex right here instead, and restaurants and shops in the future.

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Hugh Wilkerson is one of the owners of an antique shop inside one of the first buildings built in Lilburn 113 years ago.

“I think it’s going to help everything,” Wilkerson said.

“Antiques in Old Town” is a staple of a growing old town Lilburn, an area that could look a lot different very soon.

There’s a proposal to turn some old warehouses into hundreds of apartments near Railroad Avenue and Main Street.

Another old building would turn into a gaming hall with a restaurant and brewery.

But some long-time Lilburn residents are skeptical.

“A lot of people are just not thrilled with the idea,” Anna Beack told Channel 2 Action News.


Beack told Channel 2 Action News she’s concerned about the city growing too quickly and adding apartments.

“There’s a way to make things look better. Without bringing in more people,” she said.

The project is a mix of public and private funding and requires a mayor and city council vote first.

City leaders believe Gwinnett County is already growing and more housing is a way to keep up but some are skeptical.

For Wilkerson, he supports Lilburn’s growth -- for the most part.

“You’re not going to be as small as you were but hopefully we’ll stay smaller than some of these big cities, big places,” he said.

There will be one more opportunity for public comment before the city votes on May 8.

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